What the Election Taught Me

It may be naïve but I believe any stressful event can ultimately prove itself useful. The news surrounding the US presidential election, specifically the social division caused by problematic media coverage, has made it possible for me to define some personal boundaries.

Propaganda can be pervasive, particularly now, when the “news” we share on social media blurs the line between truth and fiction. In the search for more views and clicks, corporations subtly manipulate our thoughts, even those of us with the best of intentions. Seeing just how divisive social media can be, even among the smartest and kindest, makes me weary of their effects. Sure these sites come with perks, like seeing what you friends are doing in their bathrooms (?), but we don’t know enough about how the intricacies of this new social media world are affecting our minds.

There are news outlets who do their best to tell the truth and present information through non-partisan, objective perspectives. But in the world of social media and Fox News, information is tainted. And I don’t want my mind to be manipulated without me being aware of it. I’d rather remove myself from the magnetism of sensationalized media’s instant gratification. Its power can lead to a reduction of free thought.

All that to say… the stress on American democracy is making me more aware of what I can control in my own life. How nice to discover something like that and maintain some level of power over my own critical thinking.

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